European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 94, Issue 4, pp 376–385 | Cite as

Effects of physical training on heat loss responses of young women to passive heating in relation to menstrual cycle

  • Tomoko Kuwahara
  • Yoshimitsu Inoue
  • Miyuki Taniguchi
  • Yukio Ogura
  • Hiroyuki Ueda
  • Narihiko Kondo
Original Article


To examine the effects of physical training on cutaneous vasodilation and sweating responses of young women in the follicular and luteal phase, 11 physically trained (T group) and 13 untrained (U group) women were passively heated by lower-leg immersion into hot water of 42°C (ambient temperature of 30°C and 45%RH) for 60 min in their mid-follicular and mid-luteal phases of the menstrual cycle. Female hormones increased significantly from the mid-follicular to the mid-luteal phase in T and U groups, but the degree of increase was significantly lower in T group. Mean body temperature \((\bar{T}_{\rm b})\) thresholds for cutaneous vasodilation and sweating responses were significantly lower in T group than in U group, in both the menstrual phases, and the differences between the groups were greatest during the mid-luteal phase. The slope of the relationship between frequency of sweat expulsion (Fsw) and \(\bar{T}_{\rm b}, \) and between local sweating rate and Fsw was significantly greater in T group, although the slope of the relationship between cutaneous blood flow and \(\bar{T}_{\rm b}\) did not differ between the groups, regardless of body site or menstrual phase. These results suggest that regular physical activity enhanced sweating and cutaneous vasodilation in young women. The enhancement of sweating was due to both central and peripheral mechanisms, and the enhancement of cutaneous vasodilation was possibly due to a central mechanism. Enhancement of heat loss responses via central mechanisms was greater during the mid-luteal phase than in the mid-follicular phase because the elevation of female reproductive hormone levels during the mid-luteal phase was relatively low in T group.


Cutaneous vasodilation Follicular phase Luteal phase Sweat rate Thermoregulation 



We thank the subjects for their cooperation and Dr. M. Hirata and Ms. K. Kumabe (Osaka International University) for medical support. This work was supported, in part, by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (Nos. 12680063 and 16500435) and a grant from the Descente and Ishimoto Memorial Foundation for the Promotion of Sports Science.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomoko Kuwahara
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yoshimitsu Inoue
    • 1
  • Miyuki Taniguchi
    • 1
  • Yukio Ogura
    • 1
  • Hiroyuki Ueda
    • 3
  • Narihiko Kondo
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory for Human Performance ResearchOsaka International UniversityOsakaJapan
  2. 2.Laboratory for Applied Human PhysiologyFaculty of Human Development, Kobe UniversityKobeJapan
  3. 3.Osaka Shin-ai CollegeOsakaJapan

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